How did you first get started in the bodybuilding/fitness game?

My husband competes and that is how I was introduced to the bodybuilding world.  He was also the first to insist I weight train.

Was there a defining moment that got you to start training at a whole different level?

I have been an athlete since I started swimming at the age of 6, so the athleticism had always been there.  I wasn’t consistent with my weight training or diet though until I decided to compete in the spring of 2010.  Before that I would go a few months very strong at the gym, couple weeks clean eating…I needed a goal to achieve my desired body.  Seeing other women at the gym train for a show was the final motivation I needed to go for it.

What are the top 2 ways you keep motivated?

I want to be in that winners circle every time I compete, so I think that is the ultimate driving force.  Besides that, when I am having a day where I just don’t feel like training, I remember that there are people rooting against me. That always gets me fired up!

In your opinion what is the biggest hurdle you or most people have to overcome in regards to their fitness career and goals?

For me, and I think many others, it’s the diet.  I have never been a couch potato, just a junk food-aholic.  I used to think I could train away all the junk I put into my body, but you can’t.  There is really no way around it.  If you want to look like a competitor you have to eat like one.  Trust me I have tried my hardest to do it the other way and never got results.

"I want to be in that winners circle every time I compete, so I think that is the ultimate driving force."

Why do you think some people are able to overcome this hurdle, but others are not?

I tried for awhile to achieve the look of a competitor (knowing the training and diet necessary) without the actual goal of competing.  Every time I fell off the wagon, saying I would start again tomorrow or next week.  If I am going to compete I am doing it to win and that gives me the incentive to stay true to the diet and fitness routine necessary.  I think having a trainer to report back to is also extremely motivating (don’t want to disappoint!).  What it comes down to is you have to have a very strong ‘why’ to stick to the goal.  If you just want the end result but don’t have a solid, motivating reason ‘why’, chances are, it won’t come to fruition.

If you had to ratio the importance of training, diet and rest, what would the percentages look like and why? (e.g. 20% training, 30% diet, 30% rest)

My percentages would look like this: 65% diet, 20% training, 15% rest.  You cannot out-train a crappy diet, it is not possible.  But if you don’t train hard, the diet won’t be as beneficial, and you are not getting the most out of either if you don’t recover (rest).  But I think you need at least 115% to be your best, the extra 15%is your drive/determination/heart.

How useful do you think supplements are? Do you use supplements? What is your current top supplement?

Right now, during my contest prep,  I begin the day with BURN fat burner.  Pre-workout is Nitrocx.  Post-workout branch chain aminos and the protein I am currently using is LEAN, an isolate complex.  All of these supplements are from ProBody Solutions.  I think supplements are an essential part for any athlete, especially when getting ready for a show.  They help your energy and mental focus, as well as recovery.  My favorite that I take right now is BURN.  When I don’t take it my cravings are very obvious and I am certainly more moody, lol.

In general what does your current training routine look like?

I am very close to a show right now, one week out, so I am currently doing more circuit, high rep type of lifting.  Cardio is around an hour.  Typically though, I keep the cardio to a bare minimum and lift heavy, one body part per day.  Although, I think this kind of training is going to begin to be phased out, as I gained some muscle this past off season and really can’t put on much more if I intend on continuing to compete in Bikini.  I foresee more circuit type training in my future :-( …I very much enjoy lifting heavy and seeing what I can do each week.

What is your current diet routine?

Again, diet right now is not typical as far as portions, but the types of food remain the same for the most part.  Eggs/whites, tilapia/nuts/greens, shake/peanut butter, salmon/greens, egg whites.  Carbs are mostly out right now, but we stick to oats and whole grain rice or pasta.  In the off season I do either one whole day of cheat meals or a couple throughout the week.

How do you feel about ketogenic diets and extreme diets in general?

Last season I used a strictly ketone diet, and it worked really well for me.  I think everyone responds differently to different meal regimens and this is where your trainer comes in.  He/she can asses how your body is dealing with different foods and adjust appropriately.  In general, though, extreme diets should not be used as an off season or maintenance plan, you need a balanced diet as a foundation to your training.

How did you get those awesome arms of yours?

Ahh….my arms, lol.  I have to lift HEAVY to get results, I am still trying to bring up my bi’s to match my tri’s.

"If you want it, you CAN do it."

How did/do your family and friends feel about your training?

In general everyone is very supportive, I think most of my family think it’s a little crazy and extreme, but they are still supportive.

Can you give us a brief summary of your competition history?

My first competition was the end of last July at the Missouri State, where I place first in my class and overall.  I then placed first in my class and 2nd overall at the Jr. USA’s, earning my pro-card.  I headed to Detroit 3 weeks later for my first pro show and place 2nd and qualified for the first ever Bikini Olympia (omg, was sooo shocked!).  I did not place at the Olympia, but had an amazing experience and learned a lot!!

What are your fitness/bodybuilding plans for 2011?

I am starting off this season in my hometown at the St.Louis Pro, I will then do the NY Pro, and Europa in Chicago for sure.  Of course I am hoping to return to the Olympia stage as well.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 20 years?

In 5 years I would see myself possible with one or two more children and continuing in the field of health and wellness, whether that be teaching dance or getting my personal training certification.  In 20 years I will be watching my children begin to graduate H.S. and/or college and helping them make the transition into adulthood.  Hopefully by this time my husband and I will be in a position to travel and sight see.

Who is your favorite fitness model/bodybuilder? (other than yourself!)

Jaimie Baird.  I love her look and she is super sweet and great to talk to!!

Describe what you see when you look at yourself in the mirror every morning!

A sleepy mom, lol.

What did your physique look like before you started training?

I was trim, but not lean and defined.

Do you feel that you are treated differently because of your physique and fitness goals?

Since I started competing I get asked way more questions regarding training and diet, which I find amusing, because I have not been doing this long enough to be an authority on either of those issues, lol.

If you could tell a fitness noob just one sentence of advice, what would it be?

GOALS.  So important to set goals and have rewards for yourself when you achieve them.  Competing is not for everyone, so if achieving that look is your ideal, set small goals. Don’t think you will transform overnight and don’t starve yourself to get there faster…in the end it will take you longer (trust me, I know).

What is your all time favorite workout song?

Jumpin Jumpin by Destiny’s Child

What is your favorite quote?

‘If you think you can, you can.  If you think you can’t, you’re right.’ Mental attitude is SO important!

What do you feel is the best type of cardio for yourself and why?

For me, I need to get that heart rate up and sweat a good amount to see results.  I love, and hate (haha), the stairmill.

What is your favorite cheat meal?

Pizza hands down!

If you were to upload your arms to our muscle voting site ( right now, what do you think you would rate?

Maybe a 7.  My arms are not my strength physique wise.

Outside of training and dieting how do you like to spend your time?

With my family.  Doesn’t matter if we are hanging at home or headed to the park,  I want to see as much of my daughters milestones as possible.  She will be in school before I know it :-(

What is the dumbest thing you yourself have done or witnessed in the gym?

Well, there are a lot I have seen…the way some people use the kettle-bells is scary.  I guess for me, the dumbest thing I used to do was only cardio, thinking I was going to transform without weight training.

What is your favorite body part to train?  What about your least favorite?

Favorite by far is legs/glutes.  Least is chest.

What is the one question you hate hearing the most? (e.g how much do you bench?)

Hmm, I don’t get asked a lot of dumb questions.  One thing I don’t like is giving advice (writing workouts and such) and then those who ask not following it…why did you ask??

The RateMyArms team would like to thank you greatly for taking the time to do this interview. Do you have any last words for our readers?

Anyone who is contemplating competing…Go For It!!  If you want it you CAN do it.  No way did I think I could conquer the diet, but I did because I wanted to and decided I would.  Just gotta get your mindset in the game.

Photo Credit: Dan Ray and Jeff Binns

Categories: Interviews, Women